(314) Geneva® 41: A New Fire Blight Resistant, Dwarf Apple Rootstock

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  • 1 1Cornell University, USDA ARS, Plant Genetic Resources Unit Geneva, Geneva, NY, 14456
  • 2 2Cornell University NYSAES, Plant Pathology, Barton Labs
  • 3 3Cornell University NYSAES, Horticultural Sciences, Hedrick Hall

The Geneva® Apple Rootstock Breeding program initiated in 1968 by Cummins and Aldwinckle of Cornell University and continued as a joint breeding program with the USDA-ARS since 1998, has released a new dwarf apple rootstock named Geneva® 41 or G.41. G.41 (a progeny from a 1975 cross of `Malling 27' × `Robusta 5') is a selection that has been tested at the N.Y. State Agricultural Experiment Station, in commercial orchards in the United States, and at research stations across the United States, Canada, and France. G.41 is a fully dwarfing rootstock with vigor similar to M.9 T337, but with less vigor than M.9 Pajam2. It is highly resistant to fire blight and Phytophthora with no tree death from these diseases in field trials or inoculated experiments. G.41 has also shown tolerance to replant disease. Its precocity and productivity have been exceptional, equaling M.9 in all trials and surpassing M.9 in some trials. It also confers excellent fruit size and induces wide crotch angles in the scion. It appears to be very winter hardy and showed no damage following the test winter of 1994 in New York. Propagation by layering in the stool bed G.41 is not consistent and may require higher layering planting densities or tissue culture mother plants to improve its rooting. G.41 also produces some side shoots in the stool bed. The nursery liners of G.41 produce a smaller tree than G.16 liners, but similar to M.9, which is very acceptable. Unlike G.16, G.41 is not sensitive to latent viruses. G.41 has similar graft union strength to M.9 and requires a trellis or individual tree stake when planted in the orchard. Suggested orchards planting densities with this rootstock are 2,000-4,000 trees/ha. This rootstock has been released for propagation and commercial sale by licensed nurseries.

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